Issue of August 21, 2016
Mt. Province

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The disagreement that ensued last week on whether or not Baguio City’s chief executive should have suspended classes on all levels due to the non-stop downpour has surfaced some of its ugly sides.

Stakeholders were divided on whether the heavy rains was enough for Mayor Mauricio Domogan to declare class suspension from elementary to college, as what governors and mayors in other areas in the Cordillera did.

The rains from Aug. 11 to 17 caused worries to students and their parents or guardians because of the unusual volume of rainfall dumped in our region.

It was pretty understandable for parents and guardians to worry about their children or wards’ safety, reason why they joined the kids in wishing that the mayor would declare a cancellation of classes on all levels.

It’s disgusting to note, however, that some have resorted to lambasting and using lame arguments and complained why there was no declaration of class suspension.

Last week’s intermittent weather was confined to the heavy rainfall. The downpour did not come with the usual strong winds that we experience when a typhoon hits our region.

In other words, the weather condition last week was tame, to say the least. At least for the city, there were no massive and serious incidents that could have warranted the need for the local government to suspend classes on all levels.

In last week’s situation, parents and guardians were the best people who could exercise their judgment on whether or not their wards should go to school, not the local government or any other institution.

In fairness to the local government, it decides based on a general assessment of the city’s situation, not on the individual circumstances of each household. Therefore, if parents or the students themselves feel that going out of their houses during a heavy downpour is risky, then by all means, stay home and be safe.

However, when circumstances are permitting, let us send our kids to school. Let us instill in the young the value of sacrifice. If there are no serious threats that face them on rainy school days, let them overcome the challenge of having to wake up to lazy rain-kissed mornings and fulfill their roles as learners – because education entails some sacrifice. 

Perhaps the local school board should also help the local government devise a scheme that will minimize the number of school days lost to weather-related class suspensions. After all, local school boards are composed of people from the LGU, the Department of Education, and representatives from the parents-teachers, and community associations. They are the best people to come up with a better protocol.

Let us not make class suspensions come in handy for us and our kids. Downpours – without the strong winds and unless they cause massive inundations that make it too risky for us to go out of our homes – are inevitable inconveniences that we have to endure these rainy months. Let us not use it as a reason to not send our kids to school because they will have to pay for the lost weekday classes on Saturdays just the same. A six-day stay in class could be more stressful, not only for the learners, but for the teachers as well.



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